Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life

Friday, March 30, 2007

What do you see?

I' ve always loved these pictures. What do you see?I hope you see 2 deer in that picture above.

Sometimes they are quite beautiful.
Sometimes they are quite simple.
Our brains process things differently. Usually, unless we've seen the pictures before, we see one of the images first. Then we have to teach our brain to see the second image. It does not come as naturally. In the above picture, I always see the younger woman naturally and I have to remind myself how to see the old woman. You do see her don't you?

Or maybe you see the opposite and have a harder time seeing the other. Sometimes the illusion is so good that you cannot see the other at all and you think the other person is pulling a fast one on you. But sometimes your friend can merely see something you cannot. Then, it gets really frustrating when they are trying to point out to you something important, something right there and you cannot see it.

I was never good at these kinds of illusions.
Supposedly, there is a cross hidden in this picture, but I have never seen it or one in any picture like it. I've always found that irritating that people can see things I cannot.

It works the same for us spiritually. There are some people I'm comfortable talking with about spiritual issues and there are some people that sometimes make me uncomfortable. See, I have a certain way of thinking, I have a certain way of interpreting passages, a certain way of applying things. But others have the ability to see the same thing from a different perspective or a different application.

We're looking at the same thing, but they see something that doesn't come naturally for me to see. My brain needs to be retrained. Until then, I often resent the messenger, as if it's their fault. In the course of a discussion, things are going along smoothly, and suddenly the messenger speaks and shifts perspective--it's like a wrench in the cogs.

Like this picture below. How tall is the obelisk in relation to the church? Equal, 3/4's, 1/2 as tall? From here it's pretty obvious it rivals the church and someone saying differently must be crazy.
When someone brings a different perspective, we typically respond by getting defensive, taking a position, holding at arms length, rolling our eyes. or getting frustrated that they see something we don't. In my experience, this situation is often a level of insight or depth that I cannot get to. It points to my inadequacy, my spiritual immaturity or ability to connect an issue. When so often they can see a perspective my spirit does not see naturally.
What can we do instead of get defensive, roll our eyes, hold at arms length or say, "there they go again...". Maybe, though it may be difficult, we can listen, try to hear, then try to perceive, then maybe ask questions to help see what they see.

As a minister, sometimes I cause this. It's easy for me to be someone's buddy and friend. But it's something else to be someone's minister--trying to take a church member to a direction they cannot see or even may not want to go. And yet it is my calling as a minister to do this--to lead or help grow a person or even a church.

Sometimes people see only good in some things and fail to see the evil. Many things appear innocent and harmless when they really are not. I've been known to point something out and been laughed at. So I see something they cannot or will not--maybe more out of want than ability. It's hard to say.

Has that ever happened to you--you pointing out something to someone else, or them pointing it out to you? Have you ever seen evil in something when someone else only sees the good?
Sometimes we see the good, but fail to see the evil.

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